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Seventeen-year-old NCRA member balances high school and college

Jacklyn Koi and Marian Koi

Jacklyn Koi, of Sacramento, Calif., had a busy summer. First, she enrolled as a student in a court reporting program in June. By the end of July, she had registered for, and attended the 2021 NCRA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. While there, she joined NCRA, and at seventeen Koi became the youngest known current member. All this before she started her senior year in high school. We talked to her and her mother, Marian Koi, who is also a court reporting student.

Jacklyn Koi

JCR | How did you first get interested in court reporting?

JK | When my mom started learning her theory this year, I would watch her complete assignments and practice. The more she explained the profession to me, the more interested I became. I also enjoy watching court reporter videos on TikTok. Nearing the end of my junior year of high school, I decided to try out a court reporting program during the summer break. I am now about to begin my senior year of high school where I will be taking court reporting as an independent study course.

JCR | Where do you go to court reporting school?

JK | I am studying court reporting at West Valley Community College in Saratoga, Calif. I started in June 2021. I am currently in Theory-II, at about 30 wpm.

JCR | What is it like to be in both high school and court reporting school at the same time? What are some of the challenges and advantages?

JK | During the first week of court reporting my theory class clashed with my first period in high school. I would miss my first period on Zoom to attend court reporting theory. To keep up with the class I would email my high school teacher for my missed notes and assignments. I tried to practice on my steno machine at least two to three hours every day and turned in my assignments to my high school teacher by the end of the day. Balancing high school assignments, turning in quizzes for theory, getting my practices on my steno writer in daily, and keeping up with my theory class has been the most challenging so far. However, one of the advantages to all of this is getting a head start on working towards my career. I hope to take the CSR exam shortly after my high school graduation in 2022. 

JCR | Please share your experience at the Conference.

JK | My favorite part of the NCRA Conference in Las Vegas was the Steno Speed Dating session. There were at least eight working reporters from different fields of the profession. They each sat at a table of their own and we had 15-20 minutes to ask any questions we wanted about the work they did. Hearing about all of their experiences and what this career has done for them was extremely motivating for me. 

JCR | What is the best advice you’ve been given so far?

JK | So far, the best advice I’ve received is, not only am I learning a new language, but I’m also learning to read and write it at an Olympic level. 

JCR | What are your plans for when you finish school? What is your dream job?

JK | Depending on when I get my CSR license, I plan to do freelancing until May of 2023, which is when I will leave to serve a full-time two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am convinced that court reporting is what I want to pursue as my career.

JCR | What do you do when you aren’t studying?

JK | I enjoy playing sports. I play club rugby in the summer and high school water polo. I gave up both sports this summer to learn theory. So other than learning my theory, getting through my senior year of high school, and practicing on my steno writer, any spare time I have will be spent with family, friends, and attending church activities.

Marian Koi

JCR | How did you first get interested in court reporting?

MK | I enjoy the courtroom TV show dramas. One day I decided to research the different professions in a courtroom setting and I felt like I hit the mother lode when I came across the court reporting profession: Certificate program, no four-year college degree needed, front and center to all the courtroom drama, the only person in a courtroom that can tell a judge to stop talking and get away with it? Jackpot! I had an overwhelming feeling that this was going to be my new career choice. By the end of that month, I was enrolled in an online court reporting program with my new student Luminex writer on its way. 

JCR | Where do you go to court reporting school?

MK | I attend Tri-Community in Covina, Calif. I started in January 2021, and I am currently working on 80-100 wpm speeds.

JCR | What is it like to have your daughter also in court reporting school? Do you think she’ll pass you on her speeds?

MK | Before Jacklyn enrolled in her program, she would ask a lot of questions about the court reporting profession and what stenography is. I didn’t want her to learn any part of my theory so she wouldn’t be confused when she started her own theory at a different school, so I’d limit our conversations. Now that she’s well into learning her theory, it’s fun comparing briefs and seeing the slight differences in the way we write. I give her practicing tips, and she reminds me to breathe before I take a test. It’s great to know that we have each other through this, especially as pressures of speed building begin.

Yes, I know she has the capability of passing me when she begins speed building. I hope she does. If her fingers move just as fast as when she texts on her phone, she’ll do just fine in speed building.